“Unplugging” during the workday is critical to productivity, how you interact with people, your problem-solving abilities, health and wellness, and your overall enjoyment of the day. That’s because chronic stress is a killer – literally!
According to Hans Selye, author of The Nature of Stress and a stress pioneer, “…stress is not a vague concept, somehow related to the decline in the influence of traditional codes of behavior, dissatisfaction with the world, or the rising cost of living, but rather…it is clearly a definable biological and medical phenomenon whose mechanisms can be objectively identified and…we can cope much better once we know how to handle it.”
In the work I do as a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, chronic stress can rob us of feeling balanced and eventually of our health. As I say frequently, “We can’t run from the tiger AND have sex!” Our biochemicals just don’t work that way.
In fact, if we’re running from the tiger, we can’t even digest our lunch!
And as you well know, it often feels like we’re running from the tiger all day every day.
Here are some modern-day examples of “running from the tiger” that keep our stress hormones elevated and our sex and digestion processes in standby mode:
• Late for an appointment (or anything)
• Coffee only for breakfast
• Too much “doing”
• Rushed “not enough time in the day…”
• Relationships that are toxic
• Alcohol, nicotine and toxic chemical laden foods
You get the picture…
Chronic stress can cause:
• Brain fog – no, it’s not just because you’re getting older
• Lack of motivation
• Anxiety and depression
• Poor short-term memory
• The inability to problem solve effectively
• Chronic disease such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.
Some of these symptoms of chronic stress can really affect your effectiveness on the job.
Here are my five secrets to keeping your health, sanity and increasing your on-the-job effectiveness all at the same time (and still have some libido left!)
Secret #1: Take regular breaks – play a rockin’ tune on your iPod and dance like crazy for 3 minutes or go outside to breathe in some fresh air.
Secret #2 Take 3 deep breaths (to the count of 6 on the inhale and exhale), while you think of something/someone you love
Secret #3 Eat a healthy protein, fat and vegetable or fruit within an hour of waking, and at least every five hours to keep blood sugar balanced.
Secret #4 Sleep – get at least 8 hours nightly – it’s the #1 stress buster!
Secret #5 Call someone you love, or take your dog to work.
Follow these simple secrets and you will end your day happy while feeling satisfied that you did a great job!
© Robin Nielsen, NC
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